The Secret Buying Season
Traditionally, each year between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day, many home buyers put their plans on hold, just as we enter one of the best times of year to buy a home.
Typically, the inventory of available homes increases during the fall months and peaks just about the time home buyers are hitting the “pause” button. But for those who continue their search, they are likely to find that December and even early January are great months to buy a home.
The past few years have been challenging for home-buyers in Southern California, where we experienced a strong “seller’s market.” Across the board and especially in the entry-level market, would-be buyers have become accustomed to fierce competition.
Attractive, well-priced homes in desirable areas have been selling quickly in Long Beach and surrounding communities so buying in the “off-season” can mean increasing the odds of getting one’s offer accepted. It can also mean that negotiating a good deal is more likely, particularly for homes that have been on the market for a while. Homeowners who have their homes on the market during the winter months may have some time motivation and may respond to offers more quickly and may be willing to consider a reasonably fast escrow.
One thing to keep in mind when home searching during the holidays is that you may need to be flexible, both regarding setting times for showings and closing dates. Many sellers have house guests and holiday celebrations scheduled and if you can work around those, it will help start things off on the right foot. Fortunately for us in Long Beach, buying a home in the winter doesn’t mean you’ll be fighting your way through snow drifts. So if you’re in the market for a home, why not pull out your sweater, stash an umbrella in the trunk just in case, and go house hunting?